Assembly calls for a sound strategy to mitigate increasing human-wildlife conflicts in Kerala

S
stenews
Fri, Oct 8, 2021 9:39 PM

Assembly calls for a sound strategy to mitigate increasing human-wildlife
conflicts in Kerala
The Hindu
October 7, 2021

They recommended using drones and cameras to track wild animal movement,
setting up early warning systems to notify residents abutting forests and
forming neighbourhood watch groups to respond rapidly to wildlife incursions

The Legislative Assembly on October 7 flagged the mounting threat to life
and property caused by wildlife spilling out of forests into human habitats
and farmlands in search of fodder, water and prey.

The ruling front and opposition jointly called for a sound strategy to
mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

Legislators across the aisle suggested restoring migratory wildlife paths,
digging more watering holes and seeding forests with fruit trees.

They recommended using drones and cameras to track wild animal movement,
setting up early warning systems to notify residents abutting forests and
forming neighbourhood watch groups to respond rapidly to wildlife
incursions.

Legislators also suggested digging trenches and erecting fences on forest
borders. They recommended using non-lethal ammunition to drive away
marauding wildlife, including rubber bullets and flashbangs.

Replying to an adjournment motion moved by Congress legislator Sunny
Joseph, Forest Minister A. K. Saseendran said the government has allowed
firearm license holders to shoot wild boars that raid farmlands.

So far, they have killed 504 marauding wild boars. Forest enforcers have
accounted for the carcasses, rendered them inedible by pouring kerosene and
buried the remains.

However, Mr. Saseendran said shooting wild animals was not a sustainable
solution and could upset the environmental balance. It would open the door
for wildlife crime and render Kerala's forests vulnerable to poachers.

Mr. Joseph said wild elephants from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu migrated to
Kerala in search of water and food during the season.

An elephant needs at least 25 sq km to forage and at least 200 kg of
fodder. Forest land was a premium in Kerala, and it had only 11,5281 sq km
of the jungle.

The State's wild elephant population has abounded. An estimated 8000 of
them roam the State's forests, placing a tremendous strain on the
environment. Wild elephants have killed 125 people in Kerala since 2019, he
said.

He said the U.S. had destroyed 600 wild buffalos to save the Yellow Stone
National Park from environmental degradation. Australia has categorised
Kangaroo, its national animal, as vermin. Kerala should adopt a similar
method to keep the wildlife population within manageable limits.

Mr. Joseph pointed out Bihar and Uttarkhand had declared wild boars, Asian
antelope (Nilgai) and monkeys as vermin.

Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan said wildlife protection should not be
at the expense of the life and property of citizens. Government should
encourage farmers to change crops to prevent wildlife raids.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/assembly-calls-for-a-sound-strategy-to-mitigate-increasing-human-wildlife-conflicts-in-kerala/article36873339.ece

Assembly calls for a sound strategy to mitigate increasing human-wildlife conflicts in Kerala The Hindu October 7, 2021 They recommended using drones and cameras to track wild animal movement, setting up early warning systems to notify residents abutting forests and forming neighbourhood watch groups to respond rapidly to wildlife incursions The Legislative Assembly on October 7 flagged the mounting threat to life and property caused by wildlife spilling out of forests into human habitats and farmlands in search of fodder, water and prey. The ruling front and opposition jointly called for a sound strategy to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Legislators across the aisle suggested restoring migratory wildlife paths, digging more watering holes and seeding forests with fruit trees. They recommended using drones and cameras to track wild animal movement, setting up early warning systems to notify residents abutting forests and forming neighbourhood watch groups to respond rapidly to wildlife incursions. Legislators also suggested digging trenches and erecting fences on forest borders. They recommended using non-lethal ammunition to drive away marauding wildlife, including rubber bullets and flashbangs. Replying to an adjournment motion moved by Congress legislator Sunny Joseph, Forest Minister A. K. Saseendran said the government has allowed firearm license holders to shoot wild boars that raid farmlands. So far, they have killed 504 marauding wild boars. Forest enforcers have accounted for the carcasses, rendered them inedible by pouring kerosene and buried the remains. However, Mr. Saseendran said shooting wild animals was not a sustainable solution and could upset the environmental balance. It would open the door for wildlife crime and render Kerala's forests vulnerable to poachers. Mr. Joseph said wild elephants from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu migrated to Kerala in search of water and food during the season. An elephant needs at least 25 sq km to forage and at least 200 kg of fodder. Forest land was a premium in Kerala, and it had only 11,5281 sq km of the jungle. The State's wild elephant population has abounded. An estimated 8000 of them roam the State's forests, placing a tremendous strain on the environment. Wild elephants have killed 125 people in Kerala since 2019, he said. He said the U.S. had destroyed 600 wild buffalos to save the Yellow Stone National Park from environmental degradation. Australia has categorised Kangaroo, its national animal, as vermin. Kerala should adopt a similar method to keep the wildlife population within manageable limits. Mr. Joseph pointed out Bihar and Uttarkhand had declared wild boars, Asian antelope (Nilgai) and monkeys as vermin. Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan said wildlife protection should not be at the expense of the life and property of citizens. Government should encourage farmers to change crops to prevent wildlife raids. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/assembly-calls-for-a-sound-strategy-to-mitigate-increasing-human-wildlife-conflicts-in-kerala/article36873339.ece